Six writing analysis tools


Warning: this post might seriously waste your time!


Another day idly watching my twitter stream go by… I came across one of those links that analyze your writing for you (I can’t remember where from now). It’s fun to know about your writing, and some of these might even in fact have a pedagogical use too.  This is a short little post but that could end up wasting a LOT of time 🙂

1 Vocab Profiler – This is a great site of more pedagogical value. Paste in a text, and it shows you through a system of colours the frequency of the words. In their own words “Vocabulary Profilers break texts down by word frequencies in the language at large.” I used this tool quite a bit when writing low level texts or adapting texts for lower levels (I used something similar for a graded reader I wrote which never in the end saw the light of day… but that’s another story). I think this tool is a favourite of Scott Thornbury‘s too, or at least it was!

2 I write likeThis website says the following: “Check which famous writer you write like with this statistical analysis tool, which analyzes your word choice and writing style and compares them with those of the famous writers.” Then it gives you a little badge you can put on the blog. When I pasted some of my text I got the following. Cool! (or should I say ‘spiffing’?)

I write like
P. G. Wodehouse

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

3 OFaust – This site does the same as I write like, but you can also enter your blog url to analyze a larger sample. According to oFaust, I have a slight similarity to Lewis Carroll on my blog (a 22% likeness!)

4 Gender Genie – This one made the rounds a little while ago. It analyses a piece of writing and tells you if it’s more masculine or feminine. It seems to have become a bit more sophisticated recently and you can specify the genre. When I entered some of my writing I came up as Male (195 score) but a high level of female there too (105 score). I guess that’s because I have a girl’s name…

5 Text Content Analyser Getting more serious again now this site seems a bit more like a simplified Vocab Profiler (from above). It gave me the number of words according to numbers of letters which didn’t feel that useful. But it also gave information about lexical density, and something called the Gunning Fog index, which tells you what level of education (American education) your reader needs to have to understand. My writing requires a grade eight education to read which is either a testament to my clear and incisive prose or shows that I’ve been writing simplified grammar exercises and texts too long perhaps.

6 I actually write like

If all this is going to your head, then the last site brings you back down to earth hard. It also analyzes your text and lets you put a badge on your blog like the one above. Here’s what I got…


I actually write like
a moonstruck lunatic possibly actually wearing a straightjacket

I Actually Write Like Analyze your writing!

Published in: on October 7, 2010 at 12:54 pm  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks for the time waste!

    I just put my dissertation into the ‘Gender Genie’ and as you can probably guess it was decidedly male! Academic writing conventions bah humbug!

    3561 – female
    7870 – male

    I think I may go back and dig out some less academic stuff and see if there is a woman in me somewhere….

  2. You overcame my lewiscarrollness by 2% Lindsay! But I’ll catch you, I’ll quote him on every single post for the remaining of this year.

    #2 ‘I write like’ is bogus! When I pasted the first page of Catcher in the Rye it said it’s like J.D. Salinger, and we know it’s Holden Caulfield!

    #6 ‘I actually write like’ is more reliable cause when I did the same thing it said: “I actually write like someone about to go on a killing spree”

    great time-wasters! Thanks!

    Willy @willycard

  3. Wow Lindsay, I like this kind of “time-wasting” stuff. And surprisingly, I write like Dan Brown. I suppose I should start writing bestsellers 😀
    ha ha.
    Many thanks for nice post!

  4. Hi Lindsay, thanks for the time well wasted 😉

    Based on one random blog post ( 😉 ) – I write like Dan Brown, am about 27% Lewis Carroll, decidely male (752/1118)- must be the name thing again! – and have a slightly higher fog index level at 9.7, but guess I’ve probably spent far too long writing grammar exercises too – oh, and to finish off, I wonder how many other serial killers there are among your readers? (btw “among” is one of those male words – must stop using it).

    killing spree here I come!

  5. What fun!
    Apparently I write like Cary Doctorow – I have no idea who he is, but he’s got quite a few books on Amazon!
    I am a female blogger (correct!), with a 35% similarity to Lewis Carroll, but I actually write like a lolcat – probably wasn’t a good idea to use my “I haz likes cheezeburgers” post on that site!

    ***But strangely enough – the author of this comment is a male adolescent goth after a heavy night on the absinthe, with a 69% likeness to the writing of Lewis Carroll…but still definitely Cory Doctorow!

  6. Errr…I write like somebody who drinks too much coffee and gets up too early in the morning, and I don’t need to fancy gadget to tell me that. But I was pleased to see the Vocab profiler mentioned. It is one of the few things in my teaching career that WASN’T introduced to me by Scott Thornbury in one of his articles or on Dogme.

    I occasionally use the Vocab profiler to help me select vocabulary that probably needs to be pretaught in a text, but most often use it with the students to help them select the “useful” words to learn (ie any of the blue or green words). The instruction is to find some of the blue or green words that you MAY recognise but rarely use and to go to the site and find out a few more details about them. Thanks to a fascinating discussion over at The Other Place (as I am lobbying for to be called), this is now followed up by asking…ahem…telling… the learners to go to to make flashcards which are then emailed to me and which I then disseminate amongst the class. Quite why I ever argued against technology beats the hell out of me. I think I’m just naturally contrary.

    But the site has many more tools than that. It has diagnostic tests for vocabular, it has concordancers, it has word lists. I imagine that it will already be familiar to many of your readers, but if it isn’t, it really merits blocking aside some time and exploring.

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